Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

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Tiger110
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Tiger110 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:13 am

Hi ... I'm sure that this has been asked before. Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start the bike? Currently using Shell standard unleaded. In my case it's my Triumph Tiger 110. I've checked everything (plugs sparking, ignition timing checked and re-checked - everything seems fine but when trying to start it fires up ok). However when I kill the engine and try to start it again it just refuses to start! I then leave it for approx. 10 minutes and try again. The same thing happens! I've read that Esso Super Unleaded does not contain ethanol. Also Texaco standard unleaded is ethanol free and also BP Ultimate (super unleaded). What do you classic bikers out there recommend?

DerryUK
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by DerryUK » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:33 am

If the bike starts OK when cold then trouble starting when hot could be due to a rich mixture, if your jets are OK then float level too high maybe?

Electrical problems when hot are usually down to a worn-out condenser, points or magneto.

I once had a mini that was a pig to start hot. It was so bad that I used to let it cool down before I tried to start it again. When I adjusted the SU mixture (weakened it) it then started hot or cold.

Derry.

Tiger110
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Tiger110 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:34 pm

Hi Derry ... It's not an electrical problem. All ok in that department. I kick it over and on the third or fourth kick over it starts. I run it for approx. 30 seconds and then kill the engine by choice. When I go to restart it there is nothing and I run out of breath kicking the b*****d over! Surely it should not be that hard. The plugs spark ok, the timing has been checked and re-checked. It sounds ok once started but trying to start it again , not a sniff, maybe a 'fut' but that's about all!

Triton Thrasher
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Triton Thrasher » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:15 pm

Do you tickle it or use the choke, when you try to restart?

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SMIFFY R
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by SMIFFY R » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:02 am

If it's any help, I've just bought a new bike which the handbook advises unleaded 95,which is fine, with 95ethenol it takes a little more effort to start and the perfomance is not so "crisp".
Go to Heaven for the climate....Hell for the company

Tiger110
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Tiger110 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:05 am

I give the carb a good tickle and also use the choke. Maybe that's the problem .... flooding the engine. A new carb maybe in order?

Tiger110
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Tiger110 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:11 am

Maybe the first port of call is to try a different type of fuel which has no ethanol and to weaken the mixture. Also to drop the carb needle a notch or two. Don't you just love classic bikes (he! he!)?

Pete R
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Pete R » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:50 am

A dodgy condensor will sometimes start up OK from cold. It will give trouble as things start to warm up.
Find a good spark plug and set the gap to 5mm. Next time it fails to start, connect that plug to one plug lead and ground it against the head. The spark should be able to jump the 5 mm gap and fire the plug at atmospheric pressure.

Sometimes you can get around the problem by connecting an external condensor to the kill wire on the magneto and grounding the body of the condensor to the magneto body.

Tiger110
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Tiger110 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:22 pm

I have recently been in touch with the Esso help desk and have printed below their response. This may be helpful to others:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for contacting Esso Customer Care.
The majority of unleaded 95 Octane petrol sold in the UK contains 5% ethanol as required under the Government’s Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO).
There is currently no requirement for renewable fuel (such as ethanol) to be present in super unleaded (97 grade petrol). Esso super unleaded petrol (Esso Energy Supreme) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland) and we have no current intention to add ethanol to Esso Energy Supreme in other areas of the UK.

We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Esso Energy Supreme – providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall, the Teesside area or Scotland.

Triton Thrasher
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Triton Thrasher » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:36 pm

Tiger110 wrote:I give the carb a good tickle and also use the choke. Maybe that's the problem .... flooding the engine. A new carb maybe in order?

Then try it with less or no tickling or choke.

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